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Continuing Education Course Catalog > Arts & Culture

The African-American Experience Through Film  

American films are a powerful medium for producing a collective understanding about our country's past, present, and ever-changing values. Often though, they create a vision of America that fails to capture an honest portrayal of non-white life. This class will examine the counter-narratives of Black filmmakers in the hopes of better understanding how cinema serves as an expression of humanity, and more importantly, a better understanding of the humanity within the African-American community - thus developing greater empathy towards and appreciation of their lives and experiences.

Join filmmaker and educator Ben Abel-Bey as you explore fictional narratives, documentaries, and television episodes across multiple themes and genres. While some film theory will be discussed, this course is ultimately an examination of American history, society, and culture through the work of filmmakers of color. Films discussed will include Do the Right Thing, The Hate U Give, and more.

Short clips of films and television episodes will be screened and discussed in class, but students are expected to view films outside of class each week as well. Please note that some movie rental fees may apply in addition to the cost of the course.